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Proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Assigning Environmental Responsibilities to the State - Department of Tra


This guidance was superseded in September 2013. For current guidance, see www.fhwa.dot.gov/hep/map-21_research/resources/categorical_exclusions/.

Federal Highway Administration

[Docket No. FHWA - fill in docket number ]

Proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Assigning Environmental Responsibilities to the State of [fill in State name]

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), [fill in Division name] Office, DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed MOU and request for comments.

SUMMARY: This notice announces that the FHWA and the [fill in state agency name] (State) have developed a proposed MOU, pursuant to 23 U.S.C. 326, under which the FHWA would assign to the State the FHWA's responsibility for determining whether a project is categorically excluded from preparation of an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq. (NEPA), and for carrying out certain other responsibilities for conducting environmental reviews, consultations, and related activities for Federal-aid highway projects. The public is invited to comment on any aspect of the proposed MOU, including the proposed designations of categorical exclusions and scope of environmental review, consultation and other activities to be assigned.

DATES: Please submit comments by [insert date 45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register].

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by DOT Document Management System (DMS) Docket Number [fill in DMS Docket Number] by any of the following methods:

Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.

Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Nassif Building, Room PL-401, Washington, D.C. 20590.

Hand Delivery: Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Docket: For access to the docket to view a complete copy of the proposed MOU, or to read background documents or comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to Room PL-401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, D.C., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: [fill in FHWA contact information, including name, title, agency name, office address and regular office hours, telephone, and e-mail] or [fill in State contact information, including name, title, agency name, office address and regular office hours, telephone, and e-mail].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

An electronic copy of this notice may be downloaded using a computer, modem and suitable communications software from the Government Printing Office's Electronic Bulletin Board Service at (202) 512-1661. Internet users may reach the Office of the Federal Register's home page at http://www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office's web site at http://www.gpo.gov/. An electronic version of the proposed MOU may be downloaded by accessing the DOT DMS docket, as described above, at http://www.regulations.gov.

Background

Section 6004(a) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (P.L. 109-059), codified as Section 326 of amended Chapter 3 of title 23, United States Code (23 U.S.C. 326), allows the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT Secretary), to assign, and a State to assume, responsibility for determining whether certain designated activities are included within classes of action that are categorically excluded from requirements for environmental assessments or environmental impact statements pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Council on Environmental Quality under part 1500 of title 40, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (as in effect on October 1, 2003). The FHWA is authorized to act on behalf of the USDOT Secretary with respect to these matters.

Under the proposed MOU, the FHWA would assign to the State the responsibility for making decisions on the following types of categorical exclusions: [list by description the categories of activities specified in MOU Stipulation I(B)]
1.
2.
3.
The assignment also would give the State the responsibility to conduct the following environmental review, consultation, and other related activities: [list the responsibilities specified in MOU Stipulation II(A)]
1.
2.
A copy of the proposed MOU may be viewed on the DOT DMS Docket, as described above, or may be obtained by contacting the FHWA or the State at the addresses provided above. A copy also may be viewed at [fill in FHWA or State web link if MOU is posted online, delete this sentence if the MOU is posted only on the DMS Docket].

Once the FHWA makes a decision on the proposed MOU, the FHWA will place in the DOT DMS Docket a statement describing the outcome of the decision-making process and a copy of the final MOU, if any. Copies of those documents also may be obtained by contacting the FHWA or the State at the addresses provided above, or by viewing the documents at [fill in FHWA or State web link if the decision statement and MOU are posted online, delete this clause if the documents are posted only on the DMS Docket].

(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Number 20.205, Highway Planning and Construction. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities apply to this program.)

Authority: 23 U.S.C. 326; 42 U.S.C. 4331, 4332; 23 CFR 771.117; 40 CFR 1507.3, 1508.4.

Issued on: [fill in date signed] __________________________________
  [Fill in Signatory Name]
[Fill in Signatory Title]
[City]
Updated: 10/17/2013
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